Growing up, Jennifer Michniewicz, P.E., PTOE never envisioned becoming a road safety advocate — it just happened naturally.
Her penchant for creative planning manifested early when she began drafting floor plans to build intricate Lego houses. She contemplated a career in architecture, but gradually developed an interest in municipal work and, embracing her aptitude for math and science, went on to graduate from SUNY at Buffalo with a degree in civil engineering.
Now, Jennifer leads highly complex transportation engineering projects across New York state and beyond as one of CPL’s Principal Associates. Drawing valuable insight from 20+ years in the industry, she manages roadway rehabilitation efforts, right-of-way (ROW) planning and traffic analyses, striving to advance pedestrian wellness through every project undertaken.
Thus far, her favorite has been the recently completed Walkable Olean Phase II project, which involved the revitalization of several streets in downtown Olean, NY. The “ideal transportation project,” its scope also encompassed street lighting design, green infrastructure and accessibility improvements.
CPL’s team began redesigning Olean’s busy corridor in 2018, narrowing roadways, performing architectural landscaping, widening sidewalks and implementing bicycle lanes to ensure safety and enhance community placemaking. The project—which Jennifer spearheaded as Project Manager—was awarded Transportation Project of the Year (2021) by the NY Upstate Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE).
“When you drive downtown, so many people are now walking and riding their bikes. That was never the case before,” Jennifer said. “Transportation projects that involve a human component are very fulfilling. To see neighborhoods connected, and people feeling secure — that means so much to me.”
Aside from brainstorming transit solutions, Jennifer enjoys visiting the Adirondacks and Allegany State Park to go hiking, camping and cross-country skiing with her husband. She also serves as a member of the Amherst Traffic Safety Board in her spare time, demonstrating her dedication to her hometown.
With more than 15 years at CPL under her belt, Jennifer says the firm’s supportive work culture has been instrumental in shaping her career.
“I’ve had many opportunities to collaborate with different Project Managers and Principals, learning from their teaching styles to develop my own,” she said, adding, “CPL’s overall focus is on getting to know others personally, no matter what office you work in—it truly is a family-like atmosphere.”